Ismail Sabri stood up to support ‘no contest’ motion but question it later – Nur Jazlan

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s move in questioning the party’s no-contest decision for Umno’s two top posts has been described as peculiar as his earlier action had suggested otherwise.

(NST) – Johor Umno Liason Committee deputy President Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said Ismail Sabri, who is Umno vice-president, had stood in support of the motion when it was read out at the party general assembly.

He said the former prime minister (PM) however left the hall right after the vote and held a press conference.

Although a majority of delegates present at the assembly had made this position clear, there were still rumblings, Jazlan said.

“Perhaps the (party) president (Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) has lost confidence in him because of all the things he did when he was the PM.

Nur Jazlan claimed that Ismail’s discontent was likely because he was not selected to be in charge of upcoming state elections.

The other party vice-presidents Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid were given the tasks, while Ismail Sabri was left out.

Nur Jazlan, who is also the Pulai Umno Division Chief, also urged Sembrong Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who is also a former vice-president, to toe the party line.

“I advise you to sit quietly and end this. He has done things behind the party.

“He signed a statutory declaration to support Perikatan Nasional (PN) as the government without the knowledge of Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman (Zahid) and the party.”

Nur Jazlan claimed that when Hishammuddin was dropped in the president’s and policy speech he “pretended he didn’t know the reason he was labelled as a traitor”.

He also called on hopeful contenders vying top party positions to join the race for the three vice-president positions.

“You can try to enter names to grab the three vice-president seats that are ready to be challenged. Maybe Ismail Sabri is ready to defend the seat he is holding now.

“Hishammuddin can also ‘test market’ to see if he is truly popular among grassroots and other representatives.

“Khairy Jamaluddin (former Umno youth chief) can also try his luck for the post after his presidential bid in 2018.

He said such an epic contest was not only being anticipated by Umno, but those outside the party due to KJ’s popularity as Umno’s political champion.”

He said Umno delegates’ collective decision not to contest the top two posts should no longer be disputed.

“Don’t continue polemics that don’t benefit Umno, and instead focus on facing the next six state polls.”